My identity

On days like today, I want to reveal my real name.

When I got divorced from my abusive ex-husband, I applied right away to get my maiden name back. I fought hard to live, and I wanted to live the rest of my life using the name I was born with. Even when I got remarried, I kept my given name. I’m never changing it.

It’s hard sometimes to write under a pseudonym here. It’s logical as an author of fiction — I want to write in a couple of genres, so it helps to create those personas. Lots of authors do that. Plus, I use my real name professionally in other capacities, so it all makes sense.

But I’m starting to wonder if it makes sense here.

I’m not ashamed of what happened to me. I’m fearful, though. When I published the book electronically via Kindle, etc., my sister told me she was afraid for my safety, despite the pseudonym. That told me my fears are not unfounded. (And my therapist said the same thing.)

I’m really not sure what to do. Maybe that’s a signal that I’m not ready to reveal myself just yet.

Today, I feel angry that I can’t be open about who I am and what happened to me.

9 thoughts on “My identity”

  1. I can totally understand your ambivalence. I also immediately went back to my maiden name, but even so, there are times I want to remain anonymous. I’m glad to be shed of the name (even though my kids still bear it), but I don’t *feel* like the ‘me’ who was born with that name. Every time I give someone my new/old name, I am reminded of the lost years when I was expected to be–and became– someone else. I feel like an old woman who is an imposter going by the name of the girl who disappeared.

    And it doesn’t feel safe….
    I have not told my story to the extent that you have, but even commenting on Facebook makes me feel vulnerable (which is why I’m responding here). I was considering getting a fake Facebook name just to be able to interact on sites like yours, but that would be one more thing to keep track of in my PTSD addled brain. Pathetic.

    1. Hi Jean: Thank you so much for posting here. Reading your comment about not feeling like the “me” who was born with that name really got to me. I feel exactly the same way. I don’t even know who that person was, and it’s painful for me to be around people who were my friends in college, for example. When I see how beautiful their lives are (and they really are, even when they struggle), it hurts me so deeply, because I know that’s what I could have had, too.

      I’m sorry about your feelings of vulnerability, too. I totally get that.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Jean. Feel free to come back, anytime. I know there are other readers of this blog who don’t comment out of concerns for their safety. Hearing from other DV survivors is so beneficial, especially to me. :-) So thank you again.

  2. It does get better…I was in abuse 24 yrs and broke free in 2002 I am now a pastor teaching on the emotional and spiritual rootsof disease.

    Here is a free manual that will eventually have 10 lessons

    For those of you who prefer are some links Fear guilt shame connection to disease by Dr Conje at Divine health videos

    Blessings Pastor Gail

  3. I was just introduced to you and your story through the article posted on Jeff Crippens blog this morning. It’s an honor to meet you and stand along side you in your journey. After 50 years I discovered a purpose can be born out of much pain. I look forward to sharing with you in the days to come. Will share this with the women I work with and post on my website and FB page.


    1. Hi Catherine: Thank you for your kind note. I’ll visit your website and FB page, and I look forward to connecting with you. Thank you again. Lucy

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